“If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever,” is a quote that relates to one Fatima Alpha Actub, a 38-year-old baker, in her journey in achieving her dreams while doing the thing she loves the most.
Actub has been “in love” with the art of baking ever since her third year in high school, when she saw her home economics teacher's baking skills.
“Yung high school pa ako, nakita ko yung art ng baking sa teacher ko. Na-inlove na ako sa pag bake, yung pag-sift ng flour, pag separate ng eggs, ganun. Parang nag e-enjoy ako na tinitingnan ko yung teacher ko (When I was still in high school, I saw the art of baking from my teacher. I fell in love with baking, sifting the flour, separating the eggs, and so on. I was enjoying watching my teacher bake),” Actub said.
Despite falling in love with baking, Actub did not pursue a course in Culinary in college and instead, took up Biology course as she once thought of herself as someone who will become a doctor in the future rather than a baker with a coffee shop business.
She said her relationship with baking was on and off. Many times she stopped but she always finds herself back into it again.” Hindi yan [baking] straight, may moments na nag-stop ako,” Actub said.
“Parang secondary lang yung baking sa akin noon kasi gusto ko maging doctor (At first baking was just a secondary thing for me before since I really wanted to be a doctor),” she added.
However, three years after she graduated in Xavier University in 2001, with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Biology, she got a job as a factory worker in Del Monte in Barangay Bugo, Cagayan de Oro City from 2004 to 2008. After four years of working as a factory worker, she resigned and worked in her parents' tracking business.
It was not until 2017 that she finally decided to start a home-based business of selling cakes and getting orders from people via social media.
“Eh, parang hindi pang doctor ang destiny ko. Yung gusto ko lang yung sinunod ko, yung passion ko lang ang sinunod ko (It seemed like I was not meant to be a doctor so I just pursued what I want, what my passion is),” Fatima said.
“Nag start ako last year, nag home-based ako for one year sa Bugo (I started my home-based business last year in Bugo). Then we decided that since my husband also loves coffee, why not put up a coffee shop, instead,” she added.
At present, Actub is the owner of #MyTreats, a coffee shop located in Tablon, Cagayan de Oro City.
Like any other business owner, Fatima has her own share of problems, particularly in the financial aspect. Nevertheless, she and her husband did not mind them and push through with their love for what they are doing.
Fatima and her husband worked together in managing their coffee shop, with the former as the one doing the baking while the latter doing the coffee brewing. It became a family routine.
She also mentioned that her patrons’ orders picked up when she started customizing cakes for them for special occasions.
“Pinaka major success yung na pursue ko talaga yung passion ko kahit mahirap, hindi masyadong kumikita sa umpisa. Pero eventually, alam ko maghi-hit din yan kasi love ko yung ginagawa ko. Yung financial problem, hindi yan issue. Para sa akin, yung passion ko nakamit ko talaga. Na reach ko talaga yung passion ko (The fact that I was able to pursue my passion even though its hard and the shop is not earning well at the start, it’s my major success. Eventually, I know this will pick up because I love what I do. The financial problem is not an issue. For me, what is important is I was able to pursue my passion),” Actub said.